Latest News

National News

NSW premier won't quit over relationship

A remorseful but determined Gladys Berejiklian says she won't resign as NSW premier, despite calls for her head after the bombshell revelation she had a relationship with a former MP at the centre of a corruption probe.

Ms Berejiklian said her relationship with disgraced former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire spanned several years and admitted after facing an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into his allegedly corrupt business dealings that it was a mistake.

"I stuffed up in my personal life," she told reporters later on Monday afternoon.

"Had I known then what I know now, clearly I would not have made those personal decisions.

"I trusted someone that I'd known for a long time, and I feel really, really let down."

Ms Berejiklian said she hadn't considered resigning, insisting she had not been accused of any wrongdoing and noting the "huge" distinction between her public and private life.

She also said former premier Barry O'Farrell, who quit after failing to declare a bottle of Grange Hermitage, had contacted her and advised her to stay.

NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay demanded Ms Berejiklian resign, saying she had been privy to Mr Maguire's "dodgy dealing" and had maintained her relationship until long after his resignation in 2018.

Ms McKay flagged she would move a motion of no confidence in the premier on Tuesday.

"This premier is a fraud and today she's been unmasked," she said.

The premier told the ICAC that in 2017 she had encouraged her secret boyfriend and "numero uno" Mr Maguire to quit parliament so they could go public with their relationship.

But on Monday afternoon she contradicted that, saying whilst the relationship had begun after Mr Maguire had separated from his wife, she wanted to keep it a secret because it wasn't "of sufficient status".

"This was a relationship I did not share with anybody - not my family, not my closest friends."

Having it revealed so sensationally in a public forum has been a "personal nightmare", she said.

"For someone who is very private, for someone who is very 'by the book'...I can't tell you what it's done to me personally.

"I am normally a very good judge of character... and I feel that I really let myself down."

The ICAC has accused Mr Maguire of using his public office and parliamentary resources to improperly gain a benefit for himself or for G8way International - a company he allegedly "effectively controlled".

Mr Maguire was forced to quit Ms Berejiklian's government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry.

Ms Berejiklian said at the time she was "pleased and relieved" he resigned but didn't sever contact with him because he was in a dark place and she felt bad his son-in-law had died on the same day.

In the ICAC hearing on Monday she revealed she last spoke to Mr Maguire on September 13.

She repeatedly insisted she had little knowledge of Mr Maguire's interests and labelled him a "big talker" who came up with "pie in the sky" schemes and "a lot of the time I would have ignored or disregarded what he said as fanciful".

Recordings of phone calls between the pair played at the hearing, in which Mr Maguire discusses various business deals, appeared to contradict the premier.

Upon questioning from counsel assisting, Scott Robertson, Ms Berejiklian denied deliberately distancing herself from specific details on Mr Maguire's affairs in an attempt at self-preservation.

She also repeatedly declared she had no interest in Mr Maguire's debt issues, and said she presumed Mr Maguire had appropriately disclosed his interests.

© AAP 2020